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A new peer to peer support group designed to shine a light on autism will launch at the end of this month at Heart of Community based at Coleman's Farm in Calne.

autism spectrum disorder social skillsThe idea behind the group came from a local resident who asked the people at Heart of the Community if they could help provide a safe environment for parents and guardians with children who have been, or are in the process of being diagnosed with autism.

The group will initially meet on a monthly basis and give parents and guardians an opportunity to share ideas, coping mechanisms and provide ongoing support to each other whilst making new friends.

A spokesperson for Heart of the Community told us: "Each group session will start with the exchange of toys, ideas or help but offers so much more. Parents can support one another through the ups and downs of parenting children with autism.

"Most children diagnosed with autsim don’t like to sit for too long and sometimes get agitated , so we ensure that neither the children or parents feel any pressure or shame - the kids can just be kids.

"While the parents are grateful for the official support they already receive, the local support is invaluable."

'Shine A Light on Autism' starts Monday 31st January at 9:30-10:30am - roughly for an hour, with light refreshments available.

Furute hopes for the group include an autism disco and cinema experience.

"Sometimes we need to act locally and support our neighbours. It is our hope that this group will bring everyone together and will in time, be self sufficient."

Heart of the Community would like to hear from anyone with any interest, ideas or who would like to support this group.

For further information please contact Heart of the Community social media page via message or drop into:

Coleman’s Farm Community centre
15/16 Angell close
Calne